Date: c. 1909
Description: This photo shows the Metropolitan Block, which once stood at the corner of 4th and Jackson Street. It was constructed in 1889 by Narcisse Desparois, and designed by Charles P. Brown, one of the most premier architects in Sioux City. Brown included the elaborately crafted terra cotta panels and scalloped window canopies in his design, but these features are not what the Metropolitan Block was famous for. This building was the first ever true skyscraper built in Sioux City, reaching over 75 feet high and towering over the buildings around it. The first few floors held businesses and the upper floors were reserved for apartments. To reach the higher businesses and apartments the building also sported Sioux City’s first indoor elevator. In 1955 the top three floors of the building were removed for safety concerns, as structural wear over the years had made those floors no longer usable. The entire building was razed in the 1970s as a part of an urban renewal project, which was meant to remove the older buildings like this block and the Martin Department Store and put new, modern buildings in their place. Today the Howard Johnson Hotel sits where the Metropolitan Block once stood, but photos like these still pay testament to a building that had so many Sioux City firsts.
Donor: Mrs. E Rochester